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Number of posts : 19
Age : 58
Location : Telon
Registration date : 2009-02-18

PostSubject: Weapons   Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:18 pm

Hi, this is Kocoa and I’m posting this for Hemetite under her account at her request. As many of you know she was brutally set upon by a gang of vicious elves and is currently recovering at an undisclosed location for her safety. I can assure everyone that she had absolutely no idea what "Tastee Elven Treats" were made from and meant no offense or harm in her previous post on shields. For her friends, she is recovering nicely but won’t be able to write until she recovers more fully.
Investigation Summary
While DPS might not be the primary job of a Tank, every little bit helps and of course for soloing it’s very important for the fighter to have the best weapon. So, how important are dps, damage, and speed? This paper examines key weapon attributes.

Candidate Selection
This investigation was carried out in Khal by randomly inspecting people to see what weapons they carried and the plugging the numbers in the I4 Gnomish Mainframe (at night while no one was around, Special Credit to Kocoa for helping with “stuck” doors and other things).

First let’s examine three weapons (keep in mind DPS is (dmg avg)/spd):

Elven Pig    
    Gnomish Weapon
of Mighty Destruction
Damage       26-28  16-20       2-4
Speed     3     2         1
DPS     9     9         3

Which weapon would be best for a recent test subject:
    Subject: Lesser Giant
    Profession: Adventuring DRK
    Name: Knat
    Level: 30
    IQ: 65
    Str: 303

The answer is of course the Dwarven Basher for any one-shot skills like Harrow (the amount of health a DRK gets back is solely dependent on the damage done in one hit, so you want the most damage as possible) or Mutilate (does +400% weapon damage bypassing mitigation). For all other combat, which is the mainstay fighting, the Gnomish Weapon of Mighty Destruction looks like it will yield far better results. To understand why, you have to do the math:

Elven Pig    
   Gnomish Weapon
of Mighty Destruction
hpm         20     30        60

Hpm is “hits per minute”. The Basher is the slowest weapon with the fewest number of potential hits. Knat has a strength of 303 which grants him “167.2 melee damage bonus with an average speed weapon”. What this means is that a large fraction of the damage Knat is doing is from his tremendous strength, not the weapon. So, let’s say he does +100 dmg to keep the math simple. Over the course of a minute the total damage formula is (“average weapon damage” + “Strength bonus damage”) * “Hits per Minute”:

Elven Pig    
   Gnomish Weapon
of Mighty Destruction
Dmg    26-28     16-20         2-4
Bonus     100     100         100
Hpm     20     30         60
Damage over    
1 minute
    2540     3540         6180

So you can see, over the course of a minute’s worth of fighting, the Gnomish weapon seems far superior. Also, criticals can occur each time you hit. So, the more you hit, the more criticals you should get over the course of a battle. If you have a 10% chance to get a critical, the number of criticals in one minute of combat for the three weapons are: 2, 3, 6. If you factor in criticals, the faster weapon quickly becomes far superior.

So the fastest weapon is the best right? Well, not so fast. Certainly it seems better in that you have an opportunity for more criticals, but the “rub” comes in that the strength bonus is adjusted for speed.

Experimental Data
Fortunately, I had some data left over from a previous experiment with Knat using two handed and one handed weapons. In tallying the numbers, the results showed what was expected:

ADG – Average Damage per hit
RAD/h – Recorded Average Damage per hit
CASB - Calculated Average adjustment to damage from Str Bonus

Recall that Knat’s strength attribute gives him “+167.2 melee damage bonus with an average speed weapon”. These results seem to indicate that there are no strength damage penalties regardless of the weapon type, and that the damage from the strength bonus outweighs that from the weapon. So, from the data it looks 2.75 is about an “average speed weapon”.

What about 1H high speed weapons & a Shield versus a slow 2H weapon for Dread Knight soloing? Here’s the experimental results:

2H Axe50.182.7521.81606499
Short Sword30.672.2526.6130*5298
HPM is Hits Per Minute
BSA is Basic Strength Adjustment
DoM Damage over a minute
*Remember that the strength bonus is adjusted for weapon speed. 130 was experimentally measured to an accuracy within 10%.
The faster weapon did help as expected, but the reduced strength bonus prevented the weapon from matching the 2H Axe.

Just as the str bonus goes down for faster weapons, it goes up for slower weapons. What this means for Dread Knights is that an ultra slow high damage 2H weapon might be the perfect weapon to swap in for Harrow or Mutilate as a one shot hit.

Dual Wielding
If strength is so important to weapon damage for a fighter, then dual wielding must be even better, right? You'd not only get your strength bonus but more criticals. Well, the downside is the damage is reduced by 50% for the off hand, so it's important to do the math. Here's a comparison between dual wielding and a two handed weapon over a minute assuming 10% criticals and all things being equal:
StyleDPS/WeapStr Bonus  HPMDoMCriticals
Dual Wielding         25     10020 5250    4
2H Weapon    25    100 205000    2

Damage & Skill
At low levels, skilled adventurers wait for the auto-attack of their weapon and then launch a skill. The reason for this is because the auto-attack timer resets after the last skill and either the skills take longer than the auto attack to recharge or they don't have sufficient mana/stamina to do back-to-back skills.

However, I've heard that high level characters use back-to-back skills nonstop. In this case, DPS and speed are meaningless because the auto-attack timer might never have time to reset. In these cases adventurers should look for the highest damage they can get (at least for the primary hand - if anyone knows how this works with dual wielding please let us know).

Used Weapon Vendors around Telon harp on DPS and try to entrance you with the luster of the weapon (you know the old psionist saying, if you can’t hack the adventuring become a mesmerizing salesman). But DPS of the weapon isn’t as important as the weapon speed and damage range. Do the math!

In general you want the fastest weapon you can find for the increased criticals per battle. However slow weapons with high damage should be used for any skills that are dependent on damage in a single weapon strike. You’ll also need macros to swap the right weapon at the right time for you.

It can also affect what you choose as your attribute modifiers. For example if a Rogue or Monk is using high speed weapons, jewelry that modifies strength won’t be as effective because the damage bonus from strength is being decreased due to weapon speed. So, if a Rogue or Monk is using fast weapons (e.g., daggers, wraps) increasing dex will magnify their combat damage more than str (because you’re increasing the chance to get a critical and you’re hitting more often). Similarly, if you are using slow weapons, increasing your strength will magnify the damage you do. Also, be sure to watch for attribute caps!

Hemetite Rockclan
Society of Invention, Member in Good Standing
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